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Vintage Books #2

Common Sense: How to Exercise it


Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1916

“One of the principle advantages of common sense is that it protects the man who is gifted with it from hazardous enterprises, the risky character of which he scents. Only to risk when possessing the perfect knowledge of a subject is the sure means of never being drawn into a transaction by illusory hopes. An exact conception of things is more indispensable to common sense than a thousand other more brilliant but less substantial gifts.

‘However,’ says Yorimoto, ‘in order to make success our own, it is not sufficient to have the knowledge of things, one must above all know oneself. On the great world-stage, each one occupies a place which at the start may not always be in the first rank. Nevertheless, work, intelligence, directness of thought and, above all, common sense, can exert a positive influence on the future superiority of the situation. Before everything else, it is indispensable that we should never delude ourselves about the position which we occupy. To define it exactly, one should call to mind the wise adage which says: Know thyself. But this knowledge is rare.’”
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